Public Urged To Conduct Search On Properties Before Buying

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The public has been advised to conduct a search on properties they want to acquire at the Collateral Registry (CR) at the Bank of Ghana (BoG) prior to purchasing.
A representative from the registry, Mr. Ernest Awuah said it was important to conduct a search to ascertain whether a property had been used as collateral for a credit facility or not.
Speaking at a two-day sensitization workshop for journalists on Financial Literacy and Public Awareness Campaign at Winneba in the Central Region, he cautioned that if an individual bought a personal property that was subject to a security interest registered at the CR, it would be repossessed to pay off debt that might have been incurred by the previous owner.
Further, he said the individual may lose the item if the previous owner has not repaid the debt in full.
“You should do due diligence by conducting a search to ensure there is no money owing on a property you intend to acquire such as a car, land, house,” he said.
The CR
Before then, the country witnessed problems in its credit market which constrained the flow of credit to micro small and medium enterprises (MSMEs), especially, and the economy generally.
For instance, lenders had no effective means of searching prior charges if any, on properties presented to them for credit and which resulted in numerous and protracted litigations in courts as well as a sustainable rate of non-performing loans recorded by banks.
The CR was established by the Borrowers and Lenders. Act, 2008 (Act 773), to principally register charges and collaterals created by borrowers to secure credit facilities provided by landers.
A user may conduct a search by using; the name of the borrower and / or; the collateral identification number; or the registration number.
The training
It was organized by the Frankfurt School of Finance and Management in collaboration with the IFC/World Bank Group, to enlighten journalists on the roles of the CR and Credit referencing bureaus in ensuring and enhancing responsible credit / borrowing regime.
Mr. Mawuku Williams from the Frankfurt School of Finance and Management, said the private sector lacked adequate credit facilities to work with, although they employed a huge number of the working population.
“It is estimated that Ghana has a working population of nine million out of a total population of about 26 million. The public sector employs about 700,000 while rest is estimated to be absorbed by the private sector and so they should be supported,” he said.
A World Bank report estimates that Africa may need to create 350 million jobs over the next 20 years.
Again, there is US$130 billion financing gap to MSMEs in Africa.
“We need a responsible credit culture to facilitate access to credit culture to facilitate access to credit to private sector so they create the needed and expected jobs,” he said.
He cited an effective CR, credit references bureaus, identity system and insolvency regime as some of the enablers of a responsible credit system. GB